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A part-time starter at Miami (Fla.), Njoku shared the starting tight end responsibilities the past two seasons for the Hurricanes, lining up mostly inline and flexed in the slot. A first-generation American with Nigerian roots, he originally committed to Rutgers before re-opening his recruitment and choosing Miami (Fla.) over Ohio State, Boston College and Temple. After redshirting in 2014, Njoku shared the tight end responsibilities in 2015 and recorded 21 catches for 362 yards and his first career touchdown as a redshirt freshman. He was again part of a tight end committee as a sophomore in 2016 (five starts) and finished third on the team with 43 receptions for 698 yards and eight touchdowns.
Njoku, who was the national high-jump champion (6'11") as a senior at Cedar Grove and also jumped in college, has freakish athleticism for the position that leaps off the screen, using his seam-busting speed and dynamic YAC skills to be a downfield playmaker. Njoku is a balanced blocker with potential to be above average in this area, but needs to develop his functional strength, technique and consistency. Although he is a better athlete than football player right now, Njoku is dripping with natural talent and has the elite athleticism to stress every level of the defense.
STRENGTHS: Rocked up body type with muscular physique. Loose athlete with freakish ease of movement. Explosive release and instantly accelerates to top speed in his routes. Catches the ball in stride with nimble feet and dynamic skills after the catch. Powerful strides to run over defenders, maintain his balance and pull away. Big play threat with 17.2% of his career catches going for 30+ yards. Large hands to attack the ball away from his frame. Highpoints and plays in the clouds with his leaping skills (national champion high jumper in high school and also competed on the Hurricanes track and field team). Mixes it up as a blocker, flashing a mean streak. Smooth shuffle to shield rushers from the pocket in pass pro. Added 25+ pounds since high school with room to get stronger. Finished tied for second in the FBS among tight ends with eight receiving touchdowns in 2016.
WEAKNESSES: Still developing his frame and lower body bulk. Excitable route runner and lacks polish, tipping his path. Strong hands, but inconsistent focus and too many drops on his film. Not always interested in blocking and falls asleep at the wheel. Delivers pop as a blocker, but lacks the grip strength to sustain the point of attack. Catch blocker in pass pro. Undeveloped hand placement and mirror skills to hold up in space. Late to identify proper blocking angles, allowing defenders to leverage gaps. Lacks ideal experience (nine starts) and career production with only one career 100-yard receiving game.
NFL COMPARISON: Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions -- A physical marvel, Ebron rocketed up draft boards in the 2014 draft class and Njoku could see a similar rise due to his rare athleticism for his size.